NHS organisations across the North East and North Cumbria have welcomed a new collaboration to harness innovative digital technology with the aim of improving patient care.
Led by the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of six NHS organisations in the North East; a three-year licensing contract has been agreed with Inhealthcare, a UK leader in digital health and remote patient monitoring.
The agreement means that both clinicians and patients will benefit from a range of digital programmes known as ‘Health Call’, developed as part of a partnership between the North East trusts and Inhealthcare.
Graham King, chief information officer at the Newcastle trust, said: “Patients are increasingly demanding the ability to interact with their personal health and care records through digital applications and services.
“In order to meet this demand six NHS organisations collaborated to create Health Call, an innovative digital platform that allows tailored personalised services to be created for our patients, delivered through our clinical and digital teams working together.
“We’ve already seen the development of a range of more than 50 services through Health Call and these services are now being adopted by health organisations in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“A ‘do once and share’ agreement is reducing delivery costs and patients using the service are benefiting from being able to better engage and manage their healthcare, while reducing the overheads of attending physical appointments. I am looking forward to continuing to expand and introduce new services over the next three years.”
To help clinicians create their own digital health applications, Health Call has developed a unique ‘toolkit’ as well as a growing library of over 50 applications.
One example is the Tyneside Integrated Musculoskeletal Services (TIMS), a mainly-online service managed jointly between the Newcastle trust and Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust. It offers a self-care toolkit via an app-based website, giving a range of easy-to-follow tips and advice, as well as fast access to expert opinion, diagnosis and treatment for a variety of muscle, joint and soft tissue conditions and chronic pain.
Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “We have worked closely with NHS providers in the North East of England over the last seven years and believe the region is at the cutting edge of collaboration and innovation in the NHS.
“The Health Call collaboration started at a single hospital trust in 2017 and now has grown to six trusts. It is helping to transform the way care is delivered in the North East and North Cumbria.”